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I am immensely proud to have been elected President of Norwich Rugby Football Club as it enters its 134th season. For those of you who do not have a clue who I am, I fully intend to spend as much time as possible during the season meeting as many of ... More
 
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Match Report

Romford & Gidea Park 5 Norwich 34

11/01/2020

Romford & Gidea Park 5 Norwich 34

Norwich showed signs of ring-rust in the first half of this game, but rectified it, in the second, to record a bonus point win, after 3 weeks away from rugby.

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With a strong diagonal breeze in their favour in the first half, Norwich did not make the best use of it and lacked intensity, being out-muscled at the breakdown, by the Romford pack. Despite this, Norwich scored first, with Conan Hoey in the left corner following some good work by the forwards. The kick was missed.

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Romford’s discipline let them down, during the game with Norwich facing 14 men for 50 minutes with three yellow cards and a red 20 minutes into the second half. The visitors struggled to put together many really cohesive passages for the 15 minutes following the score but Romford’s determined attack was repelled with the traditionally solid Norwich defence.

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Romford’s loose head prop Luke Izzatt was the first to be sent to the bin. From the resulting penalty, and having already missed one penalty kick to goal, Norwich opted for the scrum. From this, a strong run forward by Jonny Wheater was offloaded to Dave Micklethwaite, who shrugged off a couple of tackles to go over near the posts. Theo Elliott added the conversion.

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When Izzatt returned, Romford lost flanker Dwayne Lyn to the bin just before half time. From another penalty scrum, No 8 Laurence Austin almost made it to the line but Norwich could not add to their score as the Romford defence dislodged the ball from his hands.

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With the second half wind advantage, Romford would probably have been quite happy with only a 12 points deficit at the break.

Norwich knew that they needed to raise their intensity and patiently look after the ball rather than try to force the pace of the game. This they did, to good effect, with a performance much more representative of their season so far.

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Romford’s cause was not helped when Captain Aiden Mersh went to the bin and, before he returned, was joined by full back Jack MacVeigh who was shown a red card for kicking a Norwich player. Norwich took full advantage and scored when Laurence Austin broke clear and passed to Hoey on his right shoulder to score near the posts. Elliott converted.

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After patiently maintaining the pressure, Norwich worked a simple move through the backs with Hoey going over for his third in the left corner.  The kick was missed.

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Norwich, at this stage were totally dominant and Dave Micklethwaite got his second try when he picked up loose ball at a ruck and burst through the defensive line, to score half way out on the left. The kick was missed into the breeze.

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After a series of penalties in the Norwich 22, Romford got themselves into a good field position near the visitors line and made it count, Peter O’Brien powering over for a score that their efforts deserved. The kick was missed.

From a Romford kick, for field position, Norwich ran back at them and Rob Micklethwaite found a mismatch with a second row in front of him, running  around him to the line. The kick was missed and the game ended.

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Although a slightly stuttering performance in the first half, Norwich will be pleased to get their second half of the season rolling and shake the festive period out of their legs.

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